Some good friends of ours are in the process of adopting a precious baby girl from Ethiopia. They're getting ready to make their first trip over there. Stacy mentioned on their blog that they're going to take extra suitcases, filled with medicine and supplies for the orphanage. Aaron & I talked about donating some things and I thought it would be a good lesson for the kids (Anna for sure) to take them shopping for things to give Stacy & Christian to take with them. I asked Stacy what they needed and we headed to good ol' Dollar General. I explained to the kids what we were doing and why--what an orphanage is, why the kids are there, why they need us to get things for them, etc. I told them that Jesus commands us in the Bible to take care of the orphans. The biggest battle I have EVERY time we go to any store is the kids (especially Jacob, not always Anna) think they need to get a treat/toy. They were all on board, but Jacob kept saying that he was going to pick out a toy for "that boy". I explained to them that these kids don't have Mamas and Daddies to buy things for them and that they need clothes and shoes. To my surprise, both Anna and Jacob teared up. Anna said that made her really sad. We headed into the store and started picking out some shoes and clothes. Anna talked away about how much the kids would like their new clothes and shoes. The flip flops were on mega sale, so we literally loaded up the cart! :)
Not only did this teach my kids (at least Anna) a lesson on compassion and thankfulness, it reminded me to look outside my bubble of a world. I'm not going to be able to put into words what I want to convey...it was a good lesson for all of us and I was moved to see how much it affected Anna.
Lord, I pray that you continue to keep this precious girl's heart soft. I pray she never loses her gentle, caring spirit and that You mold her into a compassionate, loving, caring young woman who seeks Your face daily. As much as it hurts, continue to break her heart for Your lost and alone children. Thank You for putting Anna in this family and thank You for using her to remind me of Your compassion.